African National Congress (ANC) delegates have started pouring in huge numbers from across the nation at the Soweto’s Nasrec Expo Centre in order to attend the 54th national elective conference. A majority of them are in high spirits and in tune with different revolutionary songs in support of the presidential hopefuls who are bidding to succeed Jacob Zuma as president of the movement.
Presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma seems to be the hot favorite among the members who have arrived at the Nasrec’s arena, thus justifying the excitement all over. They were seen chanting the song “Siyovotela wena Nkosazana”, thus expressing their vote and love for Dr Zuma.
Among the supporters’ lot, the chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal PEC ‘Sihle Zikalala’ have projected a victory for Dlamini Zuma.
Speaking on the sidelines of the elective conference taking place at Nasrec, Zikalala said delegates wanted a leadership that would put into practice resolutions of Radical Economic Transformation.
“We are confident, you can see the mood, it’s telling you. Delegates are determined for Radical Economic Transformation. Delegates are determined to get rid of people who have failed to implement and ensure that there is a state bank. It can’t happen if you still have a leadership that does not mirror those resolutions,” he said.
Zikalala was stripped of his position as chairperson by the Pietermaritzburg High Court when it nullified the conference that put him into power. KZN, Free State and Bojanala Regional Conferences were set aside by courts following complaints by the losing factions.
The National Executive Committee decided to bare nullified structures from voting in the conference. Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said the decision was taken to ensure the conference is not contaminated.
Zikalala lashed out at the courts and said the fact that courts will take time not announcing themselves and issue a judgement on the eve of the conference, would be something to be addressed by the conference. He added that they would respect the decision of the NEC and they would only participate as branch delegates at the conference.
“On behalf of KZN, even though we have taken a decision to appeal the judgement, we are not going to participate as the PEC. We are going to participate as branch delegates and we are happy with that. We must make sure the conference of the ANC is dignified and is uniting. If there are people not happy with the PEC, let us put it aside and go to conference,” he said.
Zikalala admitted that the decision impacted Dlamini-Zuma’s support base but he was still adamant that she would come out on top. He said they would support her as branch delegates and deliver her to the promised land.
“Obviously structures that are affected are those supporting comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. People can go to court, but we are still in the ANC, we represent the branches of the ANC. Our views resonate with the views of the masses. We are representing the views of the branches and we are going to emerge with the views that we are advancing, and we have no doubt about that,” he said.